Bovine colostrum: benefits for the human respiratory system and potential contributions for clinical management of COVID-19
This review aimed to gather information about the biological effects of bovine colostrum (BC) supplementation for improving the respiratory health in humans and the potential role of bioactive molecules from BC as adjunctive therapy for SARS-CoV-2 infection (Coronavirus Disease 2019 – COVID-19). Several studies have shown that BC supplementation is effective against infections and respiratory allergies, as well as in attenuating immunosuppression caused by intense exercise in high-performance athletes. The major immune system modulation proteins present in BC are immunoglobulins, lactoferrin and transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β). Studies have revealed that lactoferrin is effective in combating SARS-CoV-2. Hyperimmune colostrum may constitute an alternative way to produce specific antibodies against COVID-19. Based on the immune system boosting ability as well as anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antiviral/antibacterial activities, we suggest that well designed, randomized, placebo-controlled, multicenter clinical trials should be done to verify the safety and effectiveness of BC supplements against SARS-CoV-2 infection.